19 NOVEMBER 1910, Page 19



[" Sir Pedivere, having slain his Lady in a fit of jealous rage, was bidden by Launcelot ko carry her to Winchester there to abide the judgment of Queen Guenever."—" The Noble History of King Arthur."] TEE Queen had said to him : "Go thou to Rome, And bear her with thee, since she was thy wife, And lay her at the Holy Father's feet.

And if, he, seeing her as she is now, All pale and bloodied who was once so fair, Can help to cleanse thee from thy grievous sin, Why, thou shalt be forgiven, Pedivere."

So they put harness on the strong white horse He rode in tourneys, and he went at dawn Through leafless woods, and in the falling rain, And knew that in the brake at either side Were greedy eyes that watched him going by,. And saw the chain of gold about his neck. Yet he would wear it since it was her gift. He had no lance, no sword, he was unarmed. The wrought steel of his gorget and his mail Might bruise her tender flesh. He thought of that He, who had killed her ; so he was unarmed; And yet none stayed him, as he rode with Death. He wrapped her body in a cloak of furs, Since though he held her close she seemed so cold; Though often, as he rode, he bent his head To kiss her lips or whisper in her ear. Then, as night fell, he fancied that she moved, And he was glad, and called her by her name. The horse could go no farther, so he stayed, And laid his burden down beneath a tree, Close by the river's edge, and watched it there. Once and again he asked her : "Art thou cold? ". She would not answer, but her little hand Was like a stone to hold. " Oh, love!" he moaned, And took his cloak and laid it over her, And then his cotte and bosen, all, and knelt Naked as those stone idols brought from Rome, Ere Rome was Christ's, or as the man God made To live in Eden, before Death and Love Came to make havoc in this world of ours.

So they were found at sunrise lying there,

He, with a smile still on his frozen lips, As who should say : "Why, this is very well."

And those who saw that he had died for her Held him absolved, and, having prayed for them,, Laid them together in one narrow grave.